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Rival Report 12/6: Man who shot and killed former Chiefs RB Joe McKnight charged with manslaughter

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Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Finally, Louisiana Sheriff Newell Normand and his department have decided to press charges on the admitted shooter of former Kansas City Chiefs RB Joe McKnight. The tragedy happened on December 1st when in an apparent road rage incident the shooter Ronald Gasser shot and killed McKnight in a New Orleans suburb.

Initially the shooter was released with no charges at all, despite having had a previous road rage incident at the same corner where he followed someone and assaulted them. Now it is 5 days later and he has finally been charged with manslaughter. Part of the reason why no charges were filed initially is because of Louisiana "Stand Your Ground" laws where if you believe you are in mortal danger or fear extreme bodily harm you are allowed to use deadly force.

Due to the laws there, merely the belief of danger can be enough to allow you to end someones life. In this situation Joe McKnight exited his automobile and walked up to Gasser's vehicle in anger and therefore the law could possibly be used to clear the shooter. It took the Sheriff 5 days to finally decide Mr. Gasser's actions were worthy of charges, despite McKnight not having a weapon and not having physically assaulted the shooter in any way.

Ronald Gasser shot and killed Joe McKnight from the safety of his own vehicle, though there were conflicting reports of that initially. There was a witness who claimed that Gasser got out of his car and shot at McKnight even while he was on the ground but the police dispute that witness because they found the 3 shell casings from the shooting inside Gasser's vehicle.

During the latest press conference about this tragedy the Jefferson County Sheriff Department made it clear that they feel Joe McKnight was partially to blame for his own death. You see, in Louisiana angrily stepping out of your car in a road rage incident apparently means a death sentence is warranted. Seems fair...?

To make things all the more bizarre, Sheriff Normand has had two press conferences where he has been extremely combative and defensive about this shooting. I guess he is surprised that an unarmed black man being shot to death by a white man who then was released without any charges for 5 days is causing backlash.

The 2nd press conference was today and was being aired live nationally when the Sheriff inexplicably started to read off obscene critiques of the police department from citizens causing CNN to cut their live feed to the press conference. How that has anything at all to do with the case or was needed in a nationally televised press conference I will never know.

My sincerest condolences to the McKnight family, the Kansas City Chiefs, the New York Jets, the USC Trojans and all of Louisiana who looked up to Joe McKnight during the trying times after Hurricane Katrina. McKnight was a legend in Louisiana at that time when he set all sorts of rushing records and provided a rallying hope to the devastated neighborhoods that were consumed by flooding during the most horrific hurricane in US History.

His playing career after high school never ended up living up to his legendary days as a teenager, but he remained a hero to the neighborhoods that he came from. It's a very sad end for him and it has left many people crushed to see one of their local idols be shot down in the streets like this.

There are no winners in this tragedy, none. RIP Joe McKnight.

Here is the full press conference announcing the manslaughter charges, but be warned that it is explicit and NSFW.

Joe McKnight shooting: Man who shot ex-NFL player charged with manslaughter - Chicago Tribune
The man who fatally shot ex-NFL player Joe McKnight during a road rage dispute has been arrested and jailed on a manslaughter charge, records show.

Ex-NFL player Joe McKnight’s alleged killer charged with manslaughter - The Washington Post
Ronald Gasser is being charged with one count of manslaughter.

Sheriff explains Joe McKnight shooting with another bizarre press conference | ProFootballTalk
The authorities in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana initially did not arrest Ronald Gasser, the 54-year-old man who shot and killed former NFL running back Joe McKnight last week. Gasser has since been arrested for manslaughter.

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